Germany to host international meet on Yemen’s peace efforts

Berlin: Germany is set to host an international conference on Wednesday in an effort to support United Nations’ peace efforts in Yemen.

“After the Stockholm consultations and agreements, Germany has invited international partners and key actors to support UN efforts for peace in Yemen,” German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas was quoted by Anadolu News Agency as saying.

He said that the deal reached between the Houthis and the Yemen government during the talks at Stockholm in December last year offered a “real window of opportunity” to make further progress in attaining peace in Yemen.

“We must work to make the international community’s support for the upcoming process as constructive and strong as possible. This includes ensuring that further progress is not impeded by a lack of funds or lengthy administrative processes,” Maas said.

Among other officials, UN Special Envoy for Yemen Martin Griffiths and Resident Coordinator of the UN in Yemen Lise Grande are expected to attend the meeting.

On December 13, peace talks between the Houthi rebels and the Yemen government were held in the Swedish capital, where both warring parties reached a ceasefire agreement in vacating the strategic Yemeni port city of Al-Hudaydah.

However, despite this, the two parties have not withdrawn its forces from the city amidst a slew of accusations on violating the truce.

The armed conflict in Yemen that has been continuing for four-and-half years, has brought more than 22 million people that accounts to over three-quarters of the entire country’s population, in dire need of humanitarian assistance or protection, of whom over eight million are severely food insecure and at risk of starvation, the UN has estimated.

The Saudi-led military intervention against a Houthi rebel insurgency in early 2015 has also wrecked the country’s medical, water and sanitation systems, resulting in the outbreak of cholera and other deadly diseases. Thousands of civilians, especially children, have lost their lives either in airstrikes or fighting hunger.

Yemen’s capital Sanaa is currently held by the Houthis, who killed then-President Ali Abdullah Saleh in December 2017.